The Atlantic writer and notable intellectual Ta-Nehisi Coates, whose published and tweeted writings include anti-Trump administration historical analyses and popular comic books, has left Twitter. The MacArthur Foundation grant and National Book Award winner’s latest essay collection, We Were Eight Years in Power, was the subject of a Sunday op-ed in The Guardian penned by Cornel West. In the article, West accused Coates of “[sounding] militant about white supremacy but [rendering] black fightback invisible” with his “neoliberal” notions, a politically-rife charge that resulted in Coates’ Twitter departure late Monday.
This wasn’t the first time West had harsh words for Coates in the press, as he called the latter the “darling of the white and black neoliberal establishment” in a New York Times interview in November. So what changed after West’s The Guardian op-ed? Twitter did, for Coates initially offered a point-by-point rebuttal to the article on his Twitter page. Instead of clearing the air, however, this only riled up the platform’s many diverse groups — including “Black Twitter,” Bernie Sanders supporters, feminists, and an endless array of others. Even Richard Spencer and his fellow white supremacists and Nazi sympathizers trolled Coates.
The resulting barrage prompted a few final tweets from Coates, who noted that “feminists, white supremacists, and leftists all in agreement” was too much to bear. “Peace, y’all,” he concluded. “I’m out. I didn’t get in it for this.”
Needless to say, few people are pleased with how this all turned out.
(Via The Guardian)